One of the most important factors in running a successful business is creating a strong, trustworthy relationship between employers and employees. This can be achieved through effective communication, which involves clearly and concisely conveying company policies and procedures. By doing this, businesses can avoid potential conflicts and misunderstandings, and instead foster positivity and understanding. It’s essential to prioritize communication in order to maintain a healthy and productive work environment. As a result, both employers and employees can feel confident, enthusiastic, and optimistic about their roles and contributions to the company.
An employee handbook serves as a blueprint that helps employees know what they can expect from the company as a whole.
What Is An Employee Handbook?
An employee handbook is an important tool that communicates its rules and outlines its policies, procedures, and expectations. A well-written handbook is essential for kicking-off an effective communication and creating a robust relationship with your employees. In short, it helps employees know that what the company expects from them is deemed necessary.
On the contrary, an employee handbook helps companies know that their employees are on the same page. New hires are given a copy of an employee handbook on their first day and important forms to sign, acknowledge, and agree to the terms. A well-crafted employee manual highlights the critical aspects of the business that are primarily HR-concentrated. These help companies avoid potential conflicts and prevent costly errors and misunderstandings.
Why Have an Employee Handbook?
All your employees (new and old) must understand your company’s policies and procedures in depth. They may be hard to comprehend initially, but the employee must read them thoroughly. Employees must abide by everything stated in the handbook if they want to be considered responsible.
An employee handbook shows that the company treats every employee equally, and the rules apply to everyone. Whatever the company intends to include in the handbook must be well-structured and promote the employees’ interests. This will eventually create a positive culture and safe work environment for every individual. Companies can protect themselves from lawsuits, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, gender biases, and much more.
Provisions Required by Law
Drafting an employee handbook is quite an undertaking. Before writing a handbook, business leaders must bring attorneys into the loop, so you must become familiar with local and federal employment laws. Some businesses have operations in multiple states, meaning they must abide by local and national policies, providing them legal grounds for drafting different handbooks for employees in each state.
Why? Because each state has unique employment laws, and companies must abide by them. The policies you must adhere to in an employee handbook by law include medical leave policies (for serious health conditions, childbirth, and more), equal employment opportunities, non-discrimination policies, staff’s compensation policies, and more.
General Clauses Every Handbook Should Include
- It is important to understand that the handbook highlights the business’s crucial areas that employees must abide by. Agreeing to the form means that the employee will uphold the company’s rules and policies—it makes no promises on continued employment. This indicates that the handbook is not a contract, and this disclaimer must be included in the handbook.
- The policies of the company are always subject to change. It must be mentioned that policies can change anytime with or without notice, as the company deems appropriate and necessary.
- An employee acknowledgment page must be included, letting the company know its employees are aware of its policies, rules, and procedures.
What Else Does an Employee Handbook Cover?
At the heart of any successful company lies a well-crafted employee manual that communicates the organization’s policies and procedures in a clear, concise, and productive manner. Regardless of the size, nature, or location of the company, it’s crucial to ensure that employees understand and follow the guidelines. With an enthusiastic and optimistically written manual, employees can confidently navigate their roles, understand their responsibilities, and feel valued within the company.
An employee handbook must also cover employee policies, employee benefits, bonuses, paid-time-off policies, the company’s history, employee evaluation/disciple/termination policies, office procedures, employee behavior, and abiding by SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).